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This company will take your nasty old shower liner and send you back a new one — here's how it works

You can receive new parts as often as you'd like, or can sign up for a delivery schedule.

You can receive new parts as often as you’d like, or can sign up for a delivery schedule.

Photo Credit: iStock

It's no secret that shower liners can get nasty after a few months of use, from bacteria to mold buildup. You may be tempted to throw it out, but a shower supply company called Outlines has a better solution — a recycling system that will save you money and do better for the planet.

How does the Outlines shower liner recycle program work?

Simply buy a shower liner from Outlines, use it, and then swap out the bottom part, which the company calls "the dirtiest part," when you need to. Outlines will send you a prepaid mailer to return the liner in and a new shower liner for about half the cost of buying a new one. 

Once they receive your old liner, they'll recycle it. You can receive new parts (what they call "replens" or replenishments) as often as you'd like, or can sign up for a delivery schedule of every three, six, or nine months. Not sure what schedule you need? Outlines also has a handy tool for that.

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Why should I recycle my shower liner?

First off, dirty shower liners are a playground for mold, which can cause irritation and allergies — in fact, these unassuming bathroom accessories harbor 60 times more bacteria than a toilet seat, according to SafeHome.org. Plus, it's just gross to look at. 

A number of experts advise people to replace curtain liners every six months or so. According to Outlines, 60% of people don't replace their shower liners often enough, but replacing your liner that often is expensive and problematic for the environment. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans produced about 292 million tons of waste in 2018, and around half of that ended up in landfills. Approximately 40 million tons of this waste in America is plastic, only about 5% of which gets recycled

Recycling a shower liner is difficult, as most are made of plastic #3, which is generally not recyclable in municipal recycling systems.

The Outlines liner replenish system helps you dodge these bullets because you only swap out the dirtiest part of the shower liner, which is recycled. This saves you money and is better for the planet.

Are there similar programs to the Outlines shower liner recycle program?

A number of companies operate similar circular programs. Some of them even earn you money.

Hydro Flask's Trade-In program will recycle your used water bottle and give you $5 toward the purchase of a new one. 

Francesca's, a popular fashion brand, launched the "forever francesca's" resale program, which allows customers to sell previously worn clothing and accessories online for store credit.

Meanwhile, Apple will pay you for your old MacBooks and iPhones through the Apple Trade In program. They recycle the old electronics, and you can earn more than $1,000 for some products.

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